OUR BIKES Harleys go head to head
The Street 750 has taken over from the Sportster 883 as the entry-level Hog, but how do the two compare?
he Harley-davidson Street 750 I’ve been riding for the last few months has taken over from the XL Sportster 883 as the baby of the Harley range after almost 30 years. I was curious to see how the two compared so I spent a morning riding them around the Oxfordshire countryside to find out.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS My Street 750 looked rather ordinary when I parked it up alongside the Iron 883. The next thing I noticed as I started the 883 was its keyless ignition, which runs on a transponder kept in my pocket. As soon as I pushed the starter button the instrument panel lit up and I spotted a digital clock on the dash. Although a minor detail, the ability to tell the time while riding is something that’s missing from the Street 750. Winner Iron 883
ERGONOMICS The Iron 883’s plush, single seat is more spacious for my 5ft 10in frame than the cramped Street 750. There’s a slight difference in the positioning of the pegs on the 883, the seat is 65mm higher and the fuel tank is narrower, which all contribute to the extra room. The Iron sticks with Harley’s tradition of having indicator switches on each handlebar, which requires a conscious effort each time I signal my intention. The sidestand on the 883 is awful and kicking it down for the first time made me feel like the bike was going to topple over. Winner Draw
RIDING I expected the 883’s larger capacity to make it nippier, but I was disappointed as it felt surprisingly sluggish in comparison to my Street 750. While the 750’s six-speed box doesn’t provide the most refined gear change it’s a much smoother action than the clunky five-speed box of the 883. One area where the 883 has superiority is in braking. The brakes on the Street 750 aren’t the strongest and the Iron 883’s stoppers felt sharper and are definitely more effective. Winner Street 750
COMFORT At around 50mph on sweeping country roads the Iron 883 was great fun to ride but at the increased speeds on a dual carriageway, the fun stopped. The lack of wind protection combined with vibrations through the pegs and bars caused pins and needles after just a few miles of riding. The seat on the Street 750 has literally been a pain in the bum, so much so I’ve been investigating alternatives but it does seem the tiny cowl round the headlight on the Street 750 disrupts airflow just enough to avoid neckache, something I’ve always been surprised about. Winner Street 750
FINANCES The Street 750 is £ 1800 cheaper than the Iron 883 and the personal contract purchase (PCP) deal for the Street works out £30p/m cheaper than the one for the Iron, when the deposit and repayment term are the same. I’ve checked insurance prices on www.mcncompare.com and it would cost me £70 to insure either model. Winner Street 750
CONCLUSION If I were to buy a bike just on looks alone the Iron 883 wins hands- down as the more aggressive looking of the two. But it was disappointing to find it vibey and sluggish away from the line. Then there’s the money side of things. I’m notoriously tight and the Street 750 is more affordable. My Street 750 was definitely the one I wanted to ride home after my day in Oxfordshire.